Miter Slot? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Miter Slot?

Hi Everyone,

My first time posting.

I'm building a router table and have been working on the table top. I laminated the top and it has worked out great and I've put a lot of work in the table top. I'm really happy with it. The hole for the router and throat plates have worked out well, even the shaft to raise/lower the router. All that's left to do on the table top is possibly put in a miter slot.

Here's my question: Should I put in a miter slot? I have a Grripper and saw a demo how it rides well against the fence (which I haven't built yet) thus eliminating the need for a miter slot (supposedly).

I was thinking of laminating a scrap piece and cut a channel to test for tear-out, but just not sure if having a miter slot is that big a deal or not. I believe I'd have to do a really good job or it wouldn't square in regards to the fence.

Maybe even opt for a coping sled instead?

What do you all think? (btw, I am a novice). Very grateful for any opinions.--Den
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 09:50 PM
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You're right. The miter slot and fence have to be square in order to work. I prefer to use a "sled" (usually just a square piece of mdf or plywood to push with). A sled is always square to the fence, therefore no setup is needed. Some still like to have a miter slot so they can use it for featherboards.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:35 PM
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Skip the Miter Slot. If you're using an insert plate in your router table, the slot will be too far away to adequately guide anything anyway.

The only benefit to a miter slot is for mounting featherboards. I clamp mine to the table.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 11:54 PM
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I'm putting a T-Track in mine for featherboards. I saw no need for a miter gauge. My focus was more on a good fence.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 01:00 AM
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i see no utility for a miter track with a router table

i am also using a t-track for featherboards
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:33 AM
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Den, a miter slot is only required to align with a flat cutting tool like a saw blade or sanding disk. The miter slot must be parralel to the flat blade/disk or kick back will occur. Since a router bit is round (regardless of the profile) you can cut at any angle with the same results and no kickback. Make sense? When you clamp your featherboards in position you can adjust them to the fence at any angle. If you used fixed locations to mount from (like a T track) then your fence must be in rough alignment to the T track; this is a restriction I have no need for. There is no wrong way to go, use what you are most comfortable with.

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Last edited by Mike; 06-09-2012 at 03:38 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 07:38 AM
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Before you rush off and don't install a mitre slot, think about these two products from MLCS. I'm not saying you will ever use them but just consider the possibilities first.

Circle Jig

Crosscut Sled
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 08:32 AM
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I just use mine for clamping featherboards and it also comes in handy for clamping stop blocks. If you put one in, it really needs to be less than 6" from the bit centerline to be useful. Why don't you just skip the miter track for now, not a difficult job to install one should you find the need

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
There is no wrong way to go, use what you are most comfortable with.

Miter slots can be useful if you setup jigs that take advantage of the sliding action of the slot, quite often eliminating the use of a fence for certain operations altogether but as with any "way of doing things" there are solutions to do similar procedures without the slot. Poke around with the search engine on miter slots, lot's of info discussed.

Just an aside..

I never saw a particular benefit of setting up a router sled until I actually had a need 'cause nothing else in my shop could do what I needed for a particular project.

Thanks to the diversity of method put up in this forum I was aware of the router sled and put one together to accomplish the task. I may use it little from this point forward but I now have it amongst my arsenal of setups.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 12:49 PM
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I've used my router table's miter slot for years because I never knew any different way. I guess that's from using table saws so many years. I use them allot when making rail/stile/raised panel doors. I have sleds and jigs set up for that. I do have a digital miter gauge from my table saw that I've used on it a few times.

A miter slot is a fixed distance from a bit's circumference.

If I didn't have a miter slot? I guess I would just work off the fence with jigs. You work with (or around) what you have, right?
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